After a truly turbulent and tragic year, 2022 finally came to a close. With record high inflation, the war in Ukraine, and a constant turnover of prime ministers, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) certainly had a busy year. We ended the year with one final book club event, where authors James Hale and Harry Cole had a Q&A with IEA director Mark Littlewood about their new book Out of the Blue, describing in detail the rise and fall of Liz Truss and her short time as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The conversation was as insightful as it was exciting, especially considering the friendship between Mark Littlewood and the former Prime Minister, and her numerous past interactions with the IEA.
Me and the other operations interns setup for the event. We organised the room, setup the recording equipment and spoke with the long list of exciting guests. Being even a small cog in such a significant organisation made the experience all the more meaningful.
Outside of our time at the IEA, fellow Mannkal scholar Jake McCoull and I explored the grand and historic city of London. We even got lucky and saw this beautiful city while it was snowing, giving us both our first ever ‘White Christmas’! On the weekends we saw the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum, Buckingham Palace, the Tate Gallery, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London to name a few. It seems with every day walking around and talking to people our list of sights to see grows.
After our first two weeks at the IEA, Jake and I went backpacking through Europe during the Christmas holiday period. What we saw and experienced was simply breathtaking. We saw monumental structures such as the Hungarian Parliament Building, Heldenplatz in Vienna and The Reichstag in Berlin to name a few. We made new friends in every city, explored remarkable museums and stood in the same places as some of the most important events in history occurred. We even went skiing in the Alps of Switzerland, an experience Jake and I will never forget. After a trip that cannot be put into words, we returned back to London ready to start the new year at the IEA.
Upon arriving back in London our official internship program began and were provided a detailed overview of all the departments and met the brilliant minds at the IEA. With the countless opportunities to get involved with any area we are interested in, we are sure to have a very diverse and interesting time here. This could range all the way from researching a particular topic, writing for the 1828 blog, organising events or even project management.
What is most impressive about the IEA is the inviting and welcoming people. At almost any moment you can simply walk upstairs and have a rigorous debate with a leading expert and author on a particular area. While our time at the IEA is only just beginning, it is clear to me that IEA will be one of the most exhilarating and significant opportunities of my career.
Photo credits: Jake McCoull